These invoicing tips when starting your business will ensure that you can send invoices and receive payment with the shortest amount of time in between – improving your small business cashflow!
For freelancers and small business owners, you may enjoy your work but you know that there’s more to your business than just that. You also need to get paid. That’s why it’s important for you to send out and receive payment on your invoices in a short amount of time.
The financial aspect of your business is crucial if you want to succeed, so today we’ll look at some of the surefire invoicing tips for small businesses and freelancers. You’ll be able to employ these effective invoice tips so you can get paid faster.
Top 9 invoicing tips when starting your business
Provide Quotes and Agreements Prior to Invoicing
In order to save the hassle of questions and disagreements later when the actual invoice comes, be proactive with all customers by making sure they understand what the project will entail and the costs associated with this work, prior to the beginning the work on this particular project.
An agreement form can also clarify your payment terms and establish a positive working relationship from the get-go, so you don’t have to spend time later answering questions and addressing concerns.
Add Details and Branding to Your Invoices
Your invoices should identify clearly your company and its brand to help your clients understand where the invoice is coming from, plus you can continue to emphasize your brand’s values this way through consistent attention in all communications.
The details on your invoice should also include a numbering system so you can track your billing and quickly find an invoice that may be in question. Add all the possible ways there are to contact you, including address, email address, and phone number.
Lastly, don’t leave off any specific details about the work completed or the payment terms. Even if those have been included in an agreement form or quote, it’s important to reinforce them through every invoice you issue.
Track time accurately
It’s not enough to do the work and then try to recall how much time you’ve spent on it. Set your timer when you begin and switch it off when you finish. Include all the hours you work on each client’s projects. That way your invoices will be accurate.
Cloud Accounting software allows you to pull the data directly from a time keeping system, so it is worth your while to look at options through which you can virtually automate this process.
Account for administration time
For some business owners, they said that invoicing can take up to 10 percent of work time in terms of creating, sending and chasing invoices. That can cause a drag on your other administration work, so be sure to factor this into your planning and accounting strategies.
Invoice the right person
This may sound like a silly one, but that’s not always the same as the person you’re actually doing the work for. Make sure you get the correct billing details for all your clients, otherwise your invoice could end up on the wrong desk… and stay there.
Send Invoices Promptly
Don’t feel like you need to wait for a certain time that you think is appropriate for customers to pay. It’s important to send out your invoice as soon as you have completed work.
If you are just starting a project and pre-bill, get that invoice to the client immediately. This way, you are at the top of their mind and are more likely to also get paid quickly.
Invoice on the go
Get rid of any paper-based invoicing process. Even if you only do a few invoices a month, it takes too much time and money to compile and send paper invoices. Instead, automate the process with invoicing software and online tools that often work in the cloud.
Why wait until you get back to the office to send an invoice? Some of our online community members have sent invoices while on the train, from airport lounges and even while volunteering at a charity. Cloud accounting software makes that easy. The smaller the time gap between providing the service and issuing the invoice, the more likely it is that you’ll get paid quickly.
This means you will be able to create and send invoices from wherever you are working and save money by not buying paper, ink cartridges, envelopes and postage. Then, you won’t be making those trips to mail the invoices. Instead, you will be sending them from the software to your customers’ email addresses.
Even better is to also automate the reminders and acknowledgements that your invoicing software can send on your behalf, so you can win that time back for yourself to work on something else.
Lastly, by taking a few of these steps you are reducing those chances for human error that then end up costing you even more time. Add automated payments to your work flow and you will really gain some momentum in the extra time you gain!
Give Customers a Way to Pay Just as Fast
New technology is available that allows a customer to pay directly from the invoice in their email, speeding payment to you for greater cash flow and less stress. These online payment options provide more options as well, including direct debit from a bank account, credit and debit card options, and Paypal.
With so many options to pay from their phone or other device, customers are sure to pay you just as fast.
Follow up invoices
When an invoice hasn’t been paid, some business owners may feel nervous about asking for payment. There’s nothing wrong with reminding a customer about money for the work you’ve completed or the products you have shipped out and they’ve received.
Invoices might be ignored, lost in the mail or left unopened in the recipient’s spam email folder. So follow up and make sure your invoice has been not only received, but actually opened and read.
You can personally contact them or use your invoicing tools to set up automated payment reminders.